How one manufacturing company “wins” at safety; a distracted train engineer causes a crash and the (extra) danger of “silent” heart attacks. These were among the top occupational and health stories featured on this week.

Nuclear plant contractor fined for 2015 arc flash

Safety training, hazard ID deficient

An arc flash explosion at the Idaho National Laboratory last year has earned a contractor a $60,000 fine from federal regulators. Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) has also been ordered to make safety improvements.


CSX retaliates against safety whistleblower

CSX Transportation Inc. violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act when it suspended an employee at its Selkirk locomotive shop after he notified management of numerous alleged safety hazards and FRSA violations, OSHA has found.


AIHA to debut five new publications at AIHce 2016

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) will debut five new publications during the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce), which is taking place May 21-26, in Inner Harbor Baltimore, Md. Attendees of the annual conference may view and purchase the new titles at a discounted rate at AIHA's booth in the Expo Hall.


Georgia worker severely burned by arc flash

Employers failed to power down cabinet before electrician began work

A 48-year-old electrician suffered second and third degree burns to his hands, arms and torso when an arc flash occurred while he was working on an electrical cabinet.


How one company wins at safety with a “Zero Harm” philosophy

The Industrial Bags business of Mondi in North America is doing something right. Its Salt Lake City plant cut its number of recordable injuries in half, from 6 in 2014 to 3 in 2015 and its  Louisville plant is now approaching its third consecutive man-incident free year.



Hazardous chemicals pose secret threat to Houston neighbors

All over America and across greater Houston, capital of the nation's petrochemical industry, hundreds of chemicals pose serious threats to public safety at facilities that may be unknown to most neighbors and are largely unpoliced by government at all levels, a yearlong Houston Chronicle ( investigation reveals.


Okla. fire department to get radiation detector

Muskogee (OK) firefighters are poised to obtain new technology from the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security, which will aid them in detecting unseen hazards. City councilors unanimously approved a $24,500 grant for the fire department to purchase a handheld radiation detector through Homeland Security. 


NTSB: Distracted engineer caused fatal Philly train wreck

-But he wasn't using his cell phone

The May 2015 derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia was the result of a loss of situational awareness by the train’s engineer after his attention was diverted to an emergency involving another train, the National Transportation Safety Board announced in a public meeting yesterday.


NY manufacturer exposes workers to lead, other hazards

Responding to a report of an elevated blood lead level in a machinist at a Brooklyn brass plumbing fittings manufacturer, OSHA inspectors found that employees at Acme Parts Inc., lacked adequate protections against lead exposure, hearing loss and hazardous chemicals.


Nearly half of all heart attacks may be ‘silent’

Nearly half of all heart attacks may be silent and like those that cause chest pain or other warning signs, silent heart attacks increase the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.


Workers at Ohio glass co. say safety hazards are being ignored

Recent OSHA citations for serious health and safety violations at Fuyao Glass in Moraine, Ohio were not sufficient for workers at the company, who have filed a complaint asking for a more thorough investigation into conditions at the plant. 


Psychology has role in helping Americans as they age

With more than 13 percent of Americans currently over age 65, and that proportion expected to grow in the coming decades, psychology has played and will continue to play an important part in helping seniors maintain their health, adjust to retirement and prevent cognitive decline, according to the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).


Table saw amputation leads to OSHA citations

Furniture maker had removed safety guards

An OSHA investigation launched at a Georgia furniture manufacturing facility after a worker lost part of a finger to a table saw revealed that his employer, Tritter Feefer Home Collection LLC, had removed the safety guards from the saw.


Seat belt crackdown just ahead

Nearly half of occupants in passenger vehicles that were killed in crashes in 2014 were not wearing seatbelts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That troubling statistic is behind the annual Click It or Ticket safety campaign launched last week by the NHTSA, the Department of Transportation and a number of local agencies.


CDC to disperse Zika preparation dollars

U.S. states and territories can now apply to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDDC) for funds to fight Zika locally. More than $85 million in redirected funds identified by the Department of Health and Human Services is being made available to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including the serious birth defect microcephaly.


U.S. Dept. of Labor Blog post

Transparent data will make workplaces safer. Here's how.

Chris Lu

Each day, millions of Americans leave their homes and report to jobs that provide for their families, strengthen our communities and grow our economy. Prospective employees have the right to know the full scope of the safety records of an industry before entering the workforce, and all workers have the right to speak up when they believe something is unsafe.